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Textbook recommendations other than ICLP


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On 6/22/2022 at 9:57 PM, Miko869 said:

That ICLP textbooks explain in detail those words... I don't know,

As I said, the textbooks don't teach these words in great detail, but the teachers can.

 

I think I'm genuinely misunderstanding things a little. For me nowadays, a typical textbook is one that contains texts worth studying intensively! But I guess that's because I'm thinking about relatively advanced ones. (And the ICLP textbooks I'm aware of are relatively advanced ones.)

 

I don't know anything about beginner-level Chinese textbooks. But: the best language textbooks I've ever seen are Elementary Korean and Elementary Vietnamese, both by Tuttle: they have enough thorough and clear explanation to function as teach-yourself books, they are very challenging, and have lots of great audio. I was hoping they'd done a Cantonese book in that series too but no, only Mandarin (which I've not seen).

 

Maybe the broader point is: there aren't advanced level language textbooks with detailed explanations! Instead, learners just need a basic explanation, and then need lots of exposure, whether through reading lots of texts extensively or a few texts intensively.

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I think the real gems in my collection are the supplementary readers and textbooks that we didn't use in class. I think this might be obvious to some, but to the others, I think it is imperative to read as many sources as possible. Quantity over quality. My sweet spot is to use other sources about one level down from where I feel my current level is. In class we used the Practical Audio-Visual Chinese books 1-4 and then A Contemporary Course in Chinese 5-6. Because I didn't study at ICLP, I used some of those books as supplemental textbooks for self-study. Enough people have spoken about those books in this thread so I will mention the gems of my collection that haven't been mentioned yet. At the intermediate level, I really liked Taiwan Today for the cultural focus and Biography Of China's Master Of Water Ink Painting: Qi Baishi; An Intermediate Chinese Reader. Also the Chinese Moral Tales and Chinese Folk Tales readers were really useful. Twenty Lectures on Chinese Culture is a good segway into Thought and society, but I could see this book being a love it or hate it kind of book and I have heard it might be similar to Talks on Chinese Culture but I haven't read that book. For advanced learners, I haven't seen it mentioned yet on this thread, but A Reader in Post─Cultural Revolution Chinese Literature is excellent. It is also compiled by Vivian Ling. I have looked at a few exerpts but as supplementary material, I'm not quite ready for it yet.

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I also want to point out that I found out about all of these books by going through these forums and reading reviews and recommendations posted by others. It's worth taking the time to go back and search the older threads as well. I just found this video on Youtube about intermediate and advanced textbooks by @OneEye that people here would probably enjoy watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMUqwb1kMdY

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On 6/25/2022 at 8:31 AM, Miko869 said:

there is a lot of "guided information" and "spectacularization", often exaggerated in order to make us buy or know about something to buy,

As @realmayosaid earlier on, I’m not aware of anyone exaggerating the merits of these books in order to sell them or anything else. @weimakesells them, but hasn’t made any grandiose claims about what the books can do. Other forum members over the years have left very detailed comments on their own experiences with both the books and the ICLP program, but I don’t recall any of them doing so in order to sell anything? 

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@squishafish Thank you. I think @Miko869 is focusing on the wrong aspect of these textbooks. He sees them as "just a collection of articles", but I see them as carefully selected collection of articles containing vocabulary that is frequently encountered not only in books but in everyday conversation alike. Unlike Reading into a New China and textbooks from Mainland China, which contains a bunch of vocabulary that one might come across only now and then, if ever, ICLP textbooks provide you with very useful items that bring your Chinese to a higher level. Besides, I think these textbooks are praised for a reason.

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